Monday, August 1, 2011

4 Ways to Grow Your Business

In our business lives we tend to over complicate things, creating plenty of "noise" and making us blind to the basics of what we need to do to grow our business.

When you break things down to their simplest form, there are just four ways to grow your business:

1. Increase the number of customers

2. Increase the number of times they deal with you

3. Increase the average value of each transaction

4. Improve the effectiveness of each business process

One qualifing point of first point - those customers need to be of the type you want to deal with. That is, not every prospect or potential customer will be the ideal fit for your business (refer to my earlier blog "3 Tips to Starting Your Perfect Business")

Point 1 refers to the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and selling processes. That is, the effectiveness of your marketing in attracting potential customers to your business as well as your selling systems in converting those leads into sales

Point 2 refers to the customer experience that your business provides to your customers - such that they feel compelled to return. That is, rather than closing sales your salespeople build relationships. It also refers to your ongoing marketing activities to your existing customers to encourage them to come back more often. This could also involve introducing new products to existing customers or simply being proactive in keeping regular contact with them.

Point 3 refers once again to the effectiveness of your selling processes and customer service standards. After clearly identifying your customers needs, offering a range of solutions and add on sales with the aim satisfying those needs will result in an increase in average dollar sale. This can also be achieved by reviewing your pricing strategies and implementing price increases. I will address the issue of pricing in a later blog.

Point 4 refers to the glue that holds every successful business together - SYSTEMS. Systems developed around a comprehensive customer service (experience) strategy. This ensures that a customer receives a consistent and predictable experience each and every time they deal with a business.

Now, as I stated earlier, this is all very simple.But the reality is that it can be difficult to implement. Most business owners are to busy working IN their business, not ON. Just keeping their head above water. But if you devote time working ON and work on strategies and systems built on the 4 ways, a sustainable and profitable business can be developed - on the right foundation. As I say to my clients, it doesn't matter how hard you work, if the foundation or business model is flawed, success will avoid you. In fact, if the model is totally flawed, the harder you work, the worse you could make your situation.

Avoid the FTI disease (see earlier blog) - take the first steps today to grow your business and make it more profitable!

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